Posted on | August 15, 2012 | 22 Comments
I worked a long day yesterday.
It was a hard day, full of disappointments and set backs, and I left the office in a really lousy mood. I got to daycare only to be handed two bags of dirty clothes and a conversation with his teacher about what we needed to do to work on the potty training.
J cried the whole way home because he wanted juice I didn’t have and when we got home, the dogs jumped and scratched at my legs until their dinners were basically hurled at them by my tired and frustrated hands. I slapped together a healthy PB&J for J and sank down onto the sofa to watch The Lorax with him for the nine jillionth time since purchasing it on Friday. I was exhausted.
The house was a wreck, crumbs on the table and counters, dog hair on the floor, dishes in the sink, and unmade beds. The sofa smelled like pee from our weekend attempts at potty training and the washing machine was churning out the fourth load of soiled underwear in as many days. I’m on day 11 of a gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian diet and I’m tired as hell and hungry for biscuits smothered with gooey cheese. I’m on medication that prohibits me from drinking so I sat there sipping my water and wondering what would happen if I just hurled the glass across the room and let it shatter against the wall.
I wanted to break something.
All I could think as I looked around my house and my life was “Seriously? THIS is my life?”
I had big dreams. I was a young co-ed once who imagined a future in politics, a life of travel, a best-selling novel. I believed in bigger and better things, strewn out before me like berries ripe for the picking. I believed that I would be something more, something better, something… amazing. And yesterday as I looked around at my soiled house from my seat on the soiled sofa, all I could see was mediocrity: scattered smothered and covered like a double order of greasy hash browns.
I wanted more for myself than this.
I wanted more than bills I can’t pay, a job that haunts and taunts me from every angle, and a house I can’t keep clean. I expected more than get up, go to work, come home, fall asleep. I believed in the American Dream of greatness, the idea that I could be something special… something epic. I believed that it was always just around the corner, waiting for me to find the right balance, strike the right chord, pen the right missive that would have me hurtling full speed into the life I deserved, the life I knew was waiting.
And last night, I realized that this is my life.
This mundane monotony of paying the bills with a paycheck that never stretches far enough.
This rote repetition of answering phones and emails and letters at a job I still wonder if I’m even cut out for.
This endless cycle of housework that is never enough and never finished.
Last night, I wanted to give it all up, wanted to spend the next few days or weeks or potentially even months curled up in bed with the covers up to my chin, wondering why and how and when it all went wrong. And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that a little of that morose mentality followed me into today. But I did what we all do… I got up and showered and put on my work clothes. I readied myself and my child for another day of disappointments and failures and hoped, as I always do, that somehow they wouldn’t overshadow the successes.
I worked a long day yesterday; and I’ll do it all again today. Because that’s what it means, I suppose, to actually be an adult.